Thursday, November 1, 2012

What Incense Should You Burn for Magical Firebowl Divination?

There are many different incense and plant resins that can be burned for divination, as well as other magical procedures, and each has its own characteristics and classification according to the 4 elements. When it comes to selecting incense or plant resins for divination, don't assume that all vendors have classified the incense they sell accurately by element characteristics and correspondences. Also, there are incense that change drastically once burned in a Firebowl, so that is another consideration. The best way to make sure you are using an incense of the element that you want for a particular divination is to test it out for yourself by burning a small amount in your firebowl as you smell the scent and watch the smoke. The following guidelines in the list below will then help you classify the elemental makeup.

Firebowl Incense Elemental Mixes

1. General Purpose: will have a good mix of 4 elements, usually higher in Air and Fire
  • Smoke – moderate amount of smoke, tends to rise and spread moderately rapid and leaves a slight bluish haze.
  • Scent – Some "edge" or "stickiness" in the scent
  • Examples – Sage, pinion, juniper, Dragon's Blood, frankincense

2. Air: is often pale colored with white or transparent material. Can be used to remember dreams, is good for studying
  • Smoke – rises quickly and dissipates quickly. Has a very light smoke that leaves air fairly clear afterwards
  • Scent – delicate, fast rising scent or no odor
  • Examples – sandalwood, sage, mint, sweet grass

3. Fire: often is red, orange, or yellow, good to liven up energy
  • Smoke – smoke rises quickly and spreads quickly and is red or yellow. Amount of smoke is light or moderate and leaves a slight bluish haze
  • Scent – has a sharp scent that "bites" the nasal passages and sinuses
  • Examples – pine, juniper, frankincense

4. Water: often is pink, blue, dark red or brown and often feels damp. Good for meditation.
  • Smoke – thick smoke that rises and spreads slowly and dissipates slowly
  • Scent – often has a fruit or flower scent or heavy, sweet, wet, thick and cloying scent that can last for days
  • Examples – gardenia, lotus blossom, strawberry

5. Earth: often brown or green. Good for stabilizing an area
  • Smoke – tends not to rise but rather to "boil" out and settle to the floor spreading slowly
  • Scent – heavy, not sweet, not wet "earthy" scent that can last for days. Also a dry scent with a slight "edge" to the nasal passages and sinuses
  • Examples – musk, mosses (be sure to dry before burning), myrrh, dark/heavy pines

For deeper study about divination and characterizing incense and plant resins and their various magical uses, see our How to Do Voodoo ebook or the online Basic Magic class section 1.

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